30 Little-Known Features of the Social Media Sites You Use Every Day

When I first set foot in Disneyland, I race to the most famous rides first—Splash Mountain, the Matterhorn, Indiana Jones, all the biggest and best. Little do I know there are just as many hidden gems and overlooked attractions that I’ve likely missed in my sprint for the headliners.

Social networks are a little like Disneyland in this regard. There’s so much to see and so much to do that some of the fun stuff is bound to slip through the cracks.

Which features of Facebook, Twitter, and the other major social networks have perhaps slipped under our noses? I went hunting for some of these little-known features and came up with over two dozen new tricks and tools to try for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Read ahead to learn all 30 little-known features (and see which ones you might already know!).

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5 Data-Driven Ways To Get Your Facebook Post Seen by Your Audience

If you’ve been struggling with Facebook lately for your brand page, don’t think you’re alone.

Between changes to the layout of brand pages, News Feed algorithm adjustments, and countless other tweaks and changes, marketers are constantly on their toes anticipating what’s coming next.

A current issue that many are facing is the decline of a post’s organic reach. Marketers have had their organic reach cut by more than half with their Page’s published posts.

This change is caused by a deeper underlying issue—the competition to get seen on a fan’s News Feed is higher than ever. At any given point a user logs into the Facebook platform, there are more than 1,500 posts that user could be shown.

In short, Facebook wants to bring the best quality content to users’ Feeds. Luckily, quality content is what all of us want to create! So rather than give up on the world’s largest and most popular social media platform, you can simply shift focus from what’s going on your brand pages to how to get your Facebook post seen on our fans’ News Feed.

TrackMaven analyzed 5,804 Facebook pages (each with a minimum of 1,000 Page Likes) spanning a total combined 1,578,006 posts to determine the attributes of the most impactful Facebook interactions. These are the top 5 most effective strategies for landing on a user’s News Feed, according to our data.

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New Facebook Page Redesign: Everything You Need to Know to Optimize Your Page

Copy of Anatomy of a Perfect Blog Post (8)Notice anything different about your Facebook page?

Facebook is in the process of rolling out a series of changes for all business pages, tweaking the design and layout in a number of small but significant ways, giving opportunity to marketers to make the most of what’s new.

So what is new? And how can you optimize your page to get the most value from what’s changed with the Facebook Page redesign?

I collected the changes and differences from this Facebook page to the last, including all the highlights from Facebook’s most-mentioned changes and even the smaller tweaks that are flying under the radar. I’m happy to pass along some advice, too—much of which I’ve gleaned from our social media archives and best practices. If you find any changes I’ve missed—or have any other helpful advice on what you might do to your page strategy—drop them into the comments. I’d love to hear them!

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The Complete Guide to Growing Your Organic Facebook Reach

Facebook empty stadiumNowadays, when I endeavor to check my Facebook statistics, I do so with the window open, birds singing, a pint of ice cream at my desk, and party jams playing on my jambox.

I must balance the bad news with some good.

Checking Facebook statistics has been bad news for a lot of us lately as we wrestle with declining numbers and shrinking reach. As the Facebook algorithm continues to change and adapt, we continue looking for answers. Why can’t we reach more fans with our updates? What kind of content should we be sharing?

What can we do about our declining Facebook reach?

The question comes up quite often, in the comments here on our blog and in discussions we have here at Buffer. We’re looking for the answers ourselves, and we believe we share this conundrum with a lot of other marketers. For our experience, Facebook has been on the decline for some time now.

  • Our posts on Facebook reach an average of 4.5 percent of our fans.
  • Overall reach has been on a slow decline for the past several months.
  • Twitter is far and away our top referral source to the blog. Facebook brings in little more than 1/3 the traffic that Twitter does.

Do these numbers sound familiar? Do yours look similar? We’re keen on finding the answers and experimenting with ways to reverse this trend and to get our Facebook content seen by more fans and followers. We imagine you’d like the same for your business. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far.

The problem with Facebook reach, explained in a single graphic

Facebook reach is on the decline for just about everyone. A study by Social@Ogilvy found that organic reach has declined to 6 percent, a drop of 49 percent from last October. In other words, if you don’t pay Facebook to boost your content through advertising, you can expect an average of six people to see your content for every 100 fans you have.

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9 Ways to Counteract Facebook’s Big Algorithm Change

Facebook’s ranking algorithm decides which posts get shown to each user in their News Feed. The algorithm has gone through some major changes in the past, but the most recent one has thrown a lot of social media marketers for a loop.

An Adage article based on a sales deck sent to Facebook partners pointed out that Facebook has admitted organic reach for brands will slowly decline. According to Facebook, this is unavoidable due to the growth of the network and the amount of content being produced.

On an episode of the Social Media Marketing podcast with Michael Stelzner, Facebook marketing expert Mari Smith said that that there are around 1500 stories that could be shown to a Facebook user in their News Feed at any moment. As that number continues to grow, Facebook has the tough job of choosing what to show users—and of course, the algorithm needs to prioritize content that users will enjoy and engage with, so they spend more time on the site.

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The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Facebook Ads

fb likeHere is something I realized pretty quickly: Getting started with any type of online paid advertising can seem overwhelming. Yet, there are two online platforms you just can’t avoid: Google and Facebook.

With over 1 billion active users, Facebook is one of the most important social networks for advertisers, and whether you like it or not, it’s something every small business should attempt to master. In fact, according to a study from Pew Research Center, 30 percent of Americans get their news from Facebook as opposed to turning to Google or a news organization. It’s clear the social network giant isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

If you haven’t even touched Facebook advertising yet, don’t sweat it. No one can be behind the game when it comes to Facebook, and in fact, there are many new features and tips that even the most advanced Facebook advertisers can still learn.

If we’re getting really honest here, I set out to write this article and learned things that I didn’t realize existed. When you go to create an ad you assume you’re going to be taken through the steps to make it happen, and you are, but who knew there were so many different kinds and image considerations? These are things that you can miss unless you really dig deep and do some research into the different options you have that aren’t explicitly stated.

It’s important now more than ever to ask yourself that dreaded question: How can I get started with Facebook ads? We tried to make it super easy here today, let’s dig in:

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7 Big Facebook Changes You Should Know About for a Better Facebook Strategy

Facebook changes so fast, I often miss new features or updates to existing ones. Since there have been a few changes recently, I thought it would be helpful to do a bit of a wrap-up of what Facebook’s been up to.

1. Images are now bigger and wider – Here are the right sizes to use

Some recent changes to how Facebook displays thumbnail images mean that we need to be more aware of the size and aspect ration of any pictures we post. Because Facebook will automatically resize images that don’t match its specifications, we really need to remember these details for our images to look right.

The aspect ratio is very specific: image widths need to be 1.91 times the height. This will mean the image scales perfectly in both the desktop News Feed and on mobile. Images are now larger when shown in the News Feed, so keeping the aspect ratio right will make sure your images look great wherever the user sees them.

Recommended image sizes have also changed for Facebook’s desktop News Feed and mobile views. For the News Feed, Facebook recommends thumbnail images of 400×209 pixels. Images that are smaller than these dimensions will be resized to either 154×154 or 90×90 pixels.

Jon Loomer made some amazing graphics to show you what the right, new sizes are:

facebook changes - images

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The Beginner’s Guide to EdgeRank: How Facebook’s News Feed Algorithm Actually Works

facebook news feed algorithm edgerankI have a link to Facebook in my bookmarks bar, so I can visit it with just the click of button, but the link doesn’t go to facebook.com. It’s actually a link to one of my closest friends’ profiles. So my Facebook landing page is actually her profile page. It’s been this way for about a year now. Here’s why: I stopped spending a lot of time on my Facebook News Feed, because I found that the posts I was seeing weren’t too interesting, and I thought I didn’t have any control over that. But it turns out, I do.

You’ve probably heard about Facebook’s algorithm for sorting posts in users’ News Feeds. It’s called EdgeRank. If you’re a marketer, it pays to understand how this works, so you know how it affects the reach of your posts, especially considering that Facebook users spend up to 40% of their time in the News Feed. If you’re a user, it pays to understand how you can affect it so that you don’t end up skipping your News Feed altogether like I was doing.

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7 Powerful Facebook Statistics You Should Know for a More Engaging Facebook Page

more engaging Facebook page - mobileOne of the things we focus on most at Buffer is the best time to post to Twitter and Facebook. This is because we want to help you get more engagement with your audience, which is beneficial for everyone.

While the best time to post is definitely important, there are some other things to keep in mind. I had a look at what kind of updates work best for Facebook pages to increase interaction and found 7 interesting statistics that you’ll probably find useful if you’re trying to make your page more engaging.

1. Photo posts get 39% more interaction

Not only do photo posts get more engagement than links, videos or text-based updates, they actually account for 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook. According to Kissmetrics, photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments and 84% more click-throughs on links than text-based posts. And as we’ve mentioned before, self-explanatory photos seem to perform best.

more engaging Facebook page - image posts

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How to Create and Share Your Own Beautiful Online Newspaper – Scoop.it and Buffer Team Up

If you are anything like me, then every day, you are finding lots of amazing content out there on the web. Of course, sharing the best bits and pieces with your followers and friends is an awesome of staying in touch with a large network.

One thing, that I’ve always loved to do though is to put all these amazing articles and videos together on a dedicated site for everyone to browse through. Scoop.it lets you do exactly that and you can easily collect websites and create a beautiful newspaper of everything you have found.

As lots of you are already Scoop.it curators, many got in touch and asked, how about we can also Buffer whenever we scoop? Today, we are super excited to announce exactly that as we unveil the brand new Scoop.it and Buffer integration.

Take a look of how it all works here:

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